Claire Foy on the red carpet

A Very British Scandal: Claire Foy’s new BBC drama needs to go on your must-watch list this Christmas

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Here’s what you need to know about Claire Foy’s A Very British Scandal.

Claire Foy has become synonymous with excellent historical dramas, thanks to her take on Anne Boleyn in the BBC’s Wolf Hall and her award-winning turn as Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s The Crown.

Now, the actor has decided to shine a light on Margaret, Duchess of Argyll – one of the most (unfairly) maligned women in modern history – in BBC One and Amazon StudiosA Very British Scandal.

Here’s what you need to know about the star-studded festive TV drama.

What is the plot of A Very English Scandal?

Written by Sarah Phelps (oh she of Dublin Murders fame), A Very British Scandal focuses on the divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, one of the most notorious, extraordinary and brutal legal cases of the 20th century.

“Famed for her charisma, beauty and style, Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, dominated the front pages as a divorce featuring accusations of forgery, theft, violence, drug-taking, secret recording, bribery and an explicit polaroid picture all played out in the white-hot glare of the 1960s media,” reads the official synopsis.

A Very British Scandal turns this scandal inside out in order to explore the social and political climate of post-war Britain, looking at attitudes towards women, and asking whether institutional misogyny was widespread at the time.

“As her contemporaries, the press, and the judiciary sought to vilify her, Margaret kept her head held high with bravery and resilience, refusing to go quietly as she was betrayed by her friends and publicly shamed by a society that revelled in her fall from grace.”

Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll (1912 - 1993) outside the law courts in the Strand on the second day of her case, 3rd May 1960. By the end of the day, she had been successfully sued for slander and libel by her former social secretary Yvonne MacPherson. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
A Very British Scandal: Claire Foy will portray Margaret, Duchess of Argyll.

Phelps says the special three-parter will explore the “institutional misogyny” the Duchess suffered.

Who will star in A Very British Scandal?

Foy will, as mentioned, take on the role of Margaret, Duchess of Argyll. WandaVision and Wimbledon actor Paul Bettany, meanwhile, will star opposite her as the Duke of Argyll.

Is there a trailer for A Very British Scandal?

A Very British Scandal has yet to begin filming, but we will be sure to bring you a trailer just as soon as one becomes available.

What are people saying about A Very British Scandal?

“Writing the story of Margaret’s life and the events leading up to and including her divorce from the Duke has been a passion project of mine since 1993 when I first heard her name and started learning about her,” Phelps has said of the project.

“I felt very strongly that she’d been punished for being a woman, for being visible, for refusing to back down, be a good girl and go quietly. This drama is my tribute to her.”

Paul Bettany of 'Uncle Frank' attends the IMDb Studio at Acura Festival Village on location at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival – Day 3 on January 26, 2020 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)
A Very British Scandal: Paul Bettany will star opposite Claire Foy as the Duke of Argyll.

Foy added: “I’m so excited to work with Anne, Sarah and Paul on this extraordinary project, and to explore through this story, how often shame, judgement and controversy surrounds a woman’s sexuality.”

And Bettany has said: “I’m delighted to be working with the remarkable Claire Foy to tell the fascinating and scandalous story of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll and their very complicated lives.

“I’m also extremely happy to get the chance to once again be working with the wonderful teams at the BBC and Amazon Studios.”

When will A Very British Scandal become available for streaming?

The hour-long, three-episode series will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK this December, although we have yet to learn the exact date this televised treat will hit our screens.

Anyone else counting down the days?

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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